The People We Know – Farrokh Suntook

How do you cope when, overnight, you discover you never really knew the person you loved the most?

This is the crisis facing Sheela Marker, a Sikh woman confronted with a shocking revelation about her Parsi husband Cyrus. Her response is to hide what happened, but the secret weighs so heavily on her that a year later she attempts to kill herself by jumping off a cliff in Mahabaleshwar, a hill station near Bombay. Her attempt is scuppered by Clarissa and Max Alexander, an English couple who have been touring India. Sheela’s burgeoning friendship with the couple allows her finally to reveal the truth about Cyrus. But with that friendship she also finds the freedom to discover herself – and change her life – in a way she could never have imagined.

This is Farrokh Suntook’s first published novel – and it is a tour de force, delicately handling a number of shocking revelations while holding the reader in suspense while dealing with a range of family and other relationships. Easily switching between life in India and in London, we become immersed in Sheela Marker’s life – and how she learns to accept what has happened. Born into a Parsi family in Bombay, Farrokh, married with a daughter and two little grandchildren, has spent most of his life in London, barring a spell in New York, where he did his MBA at Columbia University. Most of his working life has been in marketing research and consultancy, a by-product of which was a business book, The Stakeholder Balance Sheet, published by Wiley.

The People We Know is his debut novel and it brings another dimension to the books published by Bite-Sized Books.

Here is a review by Shireen J Vakil on the debut novel in Parsiana 21st September – 6th October 2022
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